The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor), and the Honourable Michael Gravelle, Ontario’s Minister of Northern Development and Mines, today announced a joint investment of more than $785,000 to support economic development and community access in Northwestern Ontario.
The Ministers made the announcement at the 2015 Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s International Convention in Toronto – one of the world’s leading mineral exploration conference and trade show.
The Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario will each invest $393,814 to enable the Webequie First Nation, in partnership with the First Nations of Eabametoong, Neskantaga and Nibinamik, to complete a regional community service corridor study.
This investment is consistent with the federal and provincial governments’ position that targeted investments can help advance community access in the Ring of Fire region.
The study will examine the benefits of developing an all-season transportation corridor connecting First Nation communities in the area with existing roadways, enabling them to capitalize on opportunities related to resource development in the region, including the Ring of Fire.
“The Harper Government invests in targeted, strategic initiatives supporting economic development, business growth and job creation efforts of First Nation communities. We’re interested in tangible proposals that can help develop the region. Today’s announcement represents our federal government’s latest meaningful contribution to helping the province enhance the economic potential of the Ring of Fire.”
The Honourable Greg Rickford
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario
“This partnership lays the groundwork for First Nations to come together to explore options for a community service corridor that could lead to multi-generational benefits associated with resource development in the region. The study supports Ontario’s plan to drive development in the Ring of Fire and ensure the tremendous potential of the Ring of Fire can be realized for First Nations, Ontario and for Canada”
The Honourable Michael Gravelle
Minister of Northern Development and Mines and Chair of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation
“Webequie First Nation has had a long term vision of working in partnership with other First Nation communities in the region to build consensus and improving the quality of life for our membership”
Chief Cornelius Wabasse
Webequie First Nation
“This important study will help Eabametoong First Nation and other remotes work together to consider options for road development in the area. We are pleased to see both levels of government supporting this work, since it will be a helpful tool for our Nation as we plan for a prosperous and sustainable future.”
Chief Elizabeth Atlookan
Eabametoong First Nation
“Establishing a year-round transportation corridor for the region is vital to ensure the health and economic well-being of First Nation communities in the area and this important project will help us achieve that goal.”
Chief Peter Moonias
Neskantaga First Nation
“We have worked very hard in the past few years as remote First Nations to look at improving overall accessibility for our community members and this community service road corridor study will help us define viable options for us based on community values.”
Chief Johnny Yellowhead
Nibinamik First Nation
The Ring of Fire is a large, resource-rich area of approximately 5,120 sq. km located in the James Bay Lowlands region of Northern Ontario where significant deposits of copper, zinc, nickel, chromite, platinum, vanadium and gold have been found. The Ring of Fire as the potential to become the largest mining development ever seen in Ontario.
The project will involve comprehensive community engagement and research, and will examine the benefits of a transportation corridor from a variety of perspectives, including logistical/technical, environmental, economic, and community-based goals and objectives associated with resource development opportunities, such as the Ring of Fire development.
The Government of Canada funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP), which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation throughout the region.
Ontario is supporting this project through the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines to inform and advance priorities under its Ring of Fire Initiative.
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